120+ Maya Angelou Quotes That Will Make You Love Poetry

maya angelou famous quotes

Maya Angelou quotes that will make you love poetry. There are days when you need to read a few quotes to really understand the meaning of life. There are quotes that are spoken by many famous people from various backgrounds and professions and these will surely help you in many ways. There are so many Maya Angelou quotes that can help you when you are tired of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a little push, a little inspiration and these quotes will give you just that. The internet is full of Maya Angelou quotes that will make you look at life through new eyes.

Maya Angelou was born on April 4, in the year, 1928, and she was a very popular singer, poet, civil rights activist and memoirist. Maya Angelou had published seven autobiographies, and also, three books of essays, and many other books about poetry. She has been and is credited with a list of films, plays, and TV series, spanning over 50 years. Maya Angelou has earned many awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Maya Angelou is well-known for her seven autobiographies, which focus on Maya Angelou’s childhood and also adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in the year, 1969 is a story about Maya Angelou’s life till she was 17 years old and had also brought her to international fame and acclaim.

Maya Angelou had then become a writer and poet after many occupations as a young adult, including sex worker, fry cook, performer, nightclub dancer coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, and also a journalist in Egypt and Ghana during decolonization. Maya Angelou had been a very famous writer, actress, producer and director, of movies, plays, and also, public TV programs. In the year, 1982, Maya Angelou had been named as the very first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. Maya Angelou had been was active in the Civil Rights Movement, and she had also worked with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. During the 1990s, Maya Angelou had made 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, and this is something that Maya Angelou had continued into her eighties. In the year, 1993, Maya Angelou had recited the poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of Bill Clinton, and this made Maya Angelou the first poet to make an inaugural recitation after Robert Frost during the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in the year, 1961.

Many personalities across the world have spoken words of wisdom and these have become household quotes in schools and homes. Maya Angelou quotes have helped many across the world who have been looking for inspiration. Maya Angelou has surprised many across the world because of his high level of intellect and method of thinking.

Maya Angelou has really been through a lot of hard situations in life and so, these quotes crop up from real life experiences. We have dug up these Maya Angelou quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together the best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of Maya Angelou Sayings in a single place. These famous Maya Angelou quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular Maya Angelou quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of Maya Angelou quotes that will open a treasure chest of wisdom and experiences.

“All great achievements require time.”

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“Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it.”

maya angelou famous quotes

“Be present in all things, and thankful for all things.”

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“Determine to live life with flair and laughter.”

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“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.”

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“The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”

“A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

“At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.”

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”

“Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.”

“Courage – you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself.”

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

“Don’t let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don’t whine. You can be brought low, that’s OK, but don’t be reduced by them. Just say, “That’s life.”

“Faith is the evidence of the unseen.”

“Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world but it has not solved one yet.”

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”

“Having courage does not mean we are unafraid.”

“Home is a refuge, not only from the world but a refuge from my worries, my terrible concerns. I like beautiful things around me. I like to be beautiful because it delights my eyes and my soul is lifted up.”

“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.”

“I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.”

“I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people.”

“I believe that every person is born with talent.”

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

“I created myself. I have taught myself so much.”

“I do not need to know all things. I remind myself that it is sufficient that I know what I know and know that without believing that I will always know what I know or that what I know will always be true.”

“I got my own back.”

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

“I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.”

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

“I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.”

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making his a better place for all people.”

“I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.”

“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”

“I’m always disappointed when people don’t live up to their potential. I know that a number of people look down on themselves and consequently on everybody who looks like them. But that, too, can change.”

“I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.”

“I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life”.”

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.”

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“I’ve never had a dislike for men. I’ve been badly treated by some. But I’ve been loved greatly by some. I married a lot of them.”

“If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”

“If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.”

“If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.”

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou

“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”

“If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.”

“If you only have one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”

“If you’re a human being, you can attempt to do what other human beings have done. We don’t understand talent any more than we understand electricity.”

“In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats – maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats – but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.”

“It is always about the work. In the latter years of your life, your happiness and your self-esteem will be determined by the mountains you surmounted, the valleys you climbed out of, and the life and/or career that you forged for yourself.”

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

“I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.”

“Let nothing dim the light that shines from within”

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away. ”

“Life loves the liver of it.”

“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: “I’m with you kid. Let’s go.”

“Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.”

“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

“Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done, to try and love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

“My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”

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“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

“Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.”

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”

“Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

“Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.”

“Segregation shaped me; education liberated me.”

“Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.”

“Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.”

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”

“Success is loving life and daring to live it.”

“The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”

“The only thing is, people have to develop courage.”

“The woman who survives intact and happy must be at once tender and tough.”

“The world had taken a deep breath and was having doubts about continuing to revolve.”

“There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.”

“There is no failure as long as you learn from your experience, continue to work, and continue to press on for success.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

“There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”

“To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“We are only as blind as we want to be.”

“We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.”

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

“We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.”

“Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.”

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

“When things were very bad his soul just crawled behind his heart and curled up and went to sleep”

“When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.”

“Women been gittin’ pregnant ever since Eve ate that apple.”

“Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot- it’s all right there.”

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.”

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

“You did the best that you knew how. Now that you know better, you’ll do better.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

“Mother’s life flowed radiant. Flourescent-tipped waves on incoming tides.”

“I answer the heroic question, ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ with ‘It is in my heart and mind and memories.”


“One person, with good purpose, can, constitute the majority.”

“Faith is the evidence of the unseen.”

“I speak to the Black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition–about what we can endure, dream, fail at and survive.”

“Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass”

“Independence is a heady draft, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.”

“My mother raised me, and then freed me,”

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“All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market.”

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

“All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike.”

“We are missing Michael.
But we do know we had him, and we are the world.”

“Glory falls around us as we sob a dirge of desolation on the Cross”

“Imagine, I might really become somebody. Someday.”


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